A Saudi Arabian delegation arrived in Ankara on Friday as part of a joint probe with Turkish authorities into the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to reports.
Two Turkish sources told Reuters that the group arrived after an agreement was reached between Riyadh and Ankara to investigate what Turkey believes was Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Anadolu Agency said the delegation would hold talks with Turkish officials over the weekend. It did not provide additional details.
Khashoggi, 59, entered the consulate on Oct. 2 to get documents for his wedding. Saudi officials have said he left shortly afterward, but Turkish officials and his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside, said he never came out.
Turkish sources have told Reuters that police believe that Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the Saudi government, was deliberately killed inside the consulate. Riyadh has rejected the allegations.
President Recep Erdoğan has previously said that Turkey could not remain silent over Khashoggi’s disappearance and called on officials at the Saudi consulate to prove he had left the facility.
On Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign ministry also said the consulate would be searched as part of the investigation.
The development comes after The Washington Post reported that Turkey told US officials it has audio and video proof that Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered in the consulate.
The paper, for which Khashoggi is a columnist, cited anonymous officials as saying the recordings show a Saudi security team detained Khashoggi.
Khashoogi, who had been living in self-imposed exile in the US, had been considered to be close to the Saudi royal family before becoming critical of the current government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 33.
He has written extensively for The Washington Post about the kingdom, including criticism of its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic row with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving.
With Post Wires